Professional Learning using Piktochart!

February 16, 2014 Leave a comment

I always look forward to days when have a chance to learn together as a faculty. I am sharing essential questions with my staff. I decided ti utilize two new tools- Haiku Deck and Piktochart. My favorite feature of Haiku Deck it the ability to add images from the actual program. This helps learners and educators stay within the copyright guidelines. You can also control who has access to your presentation. I love that Piktochart program allows you to create an infographic, and it also has a presentation mode (beta version)! You can download as a jpeg or publish it online by embedding it into a website or using an URL!

Link to Essential Questions Infographic

Essential Questions

The Third Teacher

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

the_third_teacher_-_Google_SearchThere’s nothing that excites me more than a book that is focused on transforming the learning environment. Over the next few weeks, I will be engaged in a book study: The Third Teacher. I am excited to learn about using design to transform teaching and learning! I will post my notes and reflections along the way.

For a full description of the book, check out




Essential Questions

January 8, 2014 Leave a comment

I just completed a book study with a group of my peers. This was a powerful book that will make you think more purposefully about designing questions in lesson design as well as purposefully designing questions for class discussions, formative and summative assessment. I am providing professional development fro my faculty next month. Here are the notes from our presentation!

Essential Questions


2013 in Review

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: reflection

Top 13 Memories of 2013

December 29, 2013 Leave a comment

As I reflect upon 2013, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness. Here my top 13 memories of 2013.

1. SOLD! We sold our very first home! This was our very first home- oh the memories. I remember moving in, decorating, painting, and bringing home baby Ryan. Great memories, but it was time to move into a bigger home! This house sold in 48 hours at full asking price!

2. Home Sweet Home! We purchased our dream home! I am grateful everyday to own this beautiful home. Great neighborhood, great schools, family-friendly and peaceful.

3. TEPSA! I had the opportunity to present at TEPSA! It was a great experience and I loved meeting new people and getting inspired!

4. PBL World in Napa, California! Wow. It was an honor to meet educators from all over the world that are implementing project based learning.

5. Summer Pool Parties! We did not take our usually family vacation this year, as we were settling in to the new house. We did have several pool parties- FUN!

6. Ryan’s New Elementary School! I am thankful for our neighborhood school. What an awesome group of educators. My son’s second grade teacher is a rock star. This has been an exceptional school year and she has made such a difference in his life.

7. Professor Squalls! I entered into the realm of higher education this year and I love it. I am an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University and it has been a privilege to work with such an exceptional Christian organization and exemplary future educators! Go Patriots!

8. Walter James Squalls. I said goodbye to a Natchez, Mississippi legend. He was an exemplary civil rights and community activist, first African American police officer in the state of Mississippi, and local radio station DJ. We miss you, but your legacy lives on in each of your children and grandchildren.

9. DFW Ice Storm! We were engulfed in ice for several days in the Dallas Fort Worth area! No school, trapped in, freezing cold…burrrrr!

10. Dissertation Progress! Slow progress, but progress, working on my methodology…(sigh)

11. Christmas Firsts! We had Christmas at our new home this year. We had fun decorating and spending time with family and friends.

12. Macedonia Ministries! Our move moved us closer to the church I attended as a child. We now have a wonderful church family and Ryan is able to spend time getting to know his cousins!

13. Say Cheese! Ryan lost several teeth this year. It has been such a time, expecially the two front teeth. He’s growing up- beautiful smile and all! He had the opportunity to model some gear for Janie and Jack. The pictures were absolutely fantastic!



Categories: just for fun, reflection

I’m ZINK hAppy!

November 28, 2013 Leave a comment

I love being crafty and I love organizing, so this little printer caught my eye when I shopping at my local craft store. I’ve used this to create labels, make cards, personalize gift bags, create luggage tags, organize my craft room, and make a little Christmas decor!


Categories: just for fun

Showcasing Learners and Educators

November 10, 2013 1 comment

Showcasing learner work is not just a best practice for educators. Campus and district leaders can also showcase learners and educators! I am always looking for efficient ways to recognize learners and educators at my campus. This year, I have found a system that really works for me!

  • Twitter + mobile app = effective and efficent: Use your smartphone or iPad to take pictures and use an app like Instaframe, ArcFrame, Pic Stitch or Photocollage to create a photo. I used InstaFrame in the image below to create this image that shows evidence of PBL in classrooms. I can use Twitter to share this information, use our campus hashtag, and include the teachers’ twitter handle in my tweet to give them recognition. It only takes a few minutes to create!



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